I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for this book since finding a 1948 copy from my parent’s house (or was it Laurie’s parents? Well, anyway…).
I just received this copy in the mail. It’s in much better shape than our first copy, and has the dust jacket!
The book really shines on the front end, with chapter subjects for professional bartenders. Titles such as “Phonies, Check-Dodgers”, “People That Bartenders Have Learned Not To Like”, and “Bartenders That Customers Don’t Like”. If you are a contemporary mixologist or a patron of various upscale bars, you would do well to read these chapters. They are humorous, but accurate.
I also admire the language of the day used in the book. From the chapter People That Bartenders Have Learned Not To Like:
“No matter how carefully you watch it, someone is bound to get drunk and get out of line. Blackjacks, wooden mallets, beer bottles, rubber hose filled with buckshot, brass knuckles are all definitely no solution to the problem. A rousting through the front door usually works, but there’s a technique for this treatment which should be learned and used at all times. The recipient of the jostle should never be allowed to get set but should be taken unawares and kept on the move until he’s out the front door. Once he grabs onto anything, gets his feet set, or falls down, you have to tackle the problem from another angle”.
Proper glassware for the appropriate drink, proper mixing techniques and signature garnishes make a tasty drink an event.
There are later, re-edited editions of this book. Don’t buy them- they eliminated all of the humor and useful information from the original edition.
BARTENDER’S GUIDE by Trader Vic – Illustrated by Ray Sullivan – 1948